The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 2, 2014

Many people have no interest in providing medical care for everyone

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Detractors of the Affordable Care Act are using a 2008 Oregon Medicaid study to show how ACA will lead to more emergency room (ER) visits and cost more. Oregon officials, however, counter that with reforms, medical ER visits have declined the past year.

People should be looking at the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform law and the larger Low Income Health Plan in California that has had close to 700,000 low income people, not then eligible for Medicaid, enrolled since 2011.

California had a rise in ER visits for a short time, as did Massachusetts for the first 18 months before the ER visits peaked, then started dropping. This was not surprising from people who could get medical care only at ER’s and had so for years without paying.

No one knows how many chronically ill people often stayed home and died rather than go to the ER. They found, when they did go, that once it was discovered that they had no insurance or couldn’t pay for care that they were simply given a shot or medication and sent home. Earlier references to other possible procedures that may have been needed were never mentioned again. These uninsured people were friends or relatives of many of us.

Too many people have suffered and died for many years because we have not solved our medical problems. Many people in our country have no interest in providing medical care for everyone.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

Hugo

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